Saint Guthlac of Crowland (Old English: Gūðlāc; Latin: Guthlacus; 674 – 3 April 715 AD) was a Christian saint from Lincolnshire in England. He is particularly venerated in the Fens of eastern England.
Saint Guthlac of Crowland
St Guthlac holding the scourge given to him by St Bartholomew, with a demon lying at his feet. A 15th-century statue from the second tier of the ruined nave of Croyland Abbey
Kingdom of Mercia
|Venerated in||Roman Catholic Church|
Eastern Orthodox Church
Guthlac was the son of Penwalh or Penwald, a noble of the English kingdom of Mercia, and his wife Tette. His sister is also venerated as Saint Pega. As a young man, he fought in the army of Æthelred of Mercia and subsequently became a monk at Repton Monastery in Derbyshire at the age of 24, under the Abbess. (Repton was a double monastery.) Two years later he sought to live the life of a hermit, and moved out to the island of Croyland, now called Crowland on St Bartholomew's Day, AD 699. His early biographer Felix asserts that Guthlac could understand the strimulentes loquelas ("sibilant speech") of the British-speaking demons who haunted him there, only because Guthlac had spent some time in exile among Celtic Britons.
Guthlac built a small oratory and cells in the side of a plundered barrow on the island, and he lived there until his death on 11 April in AD 714. Felix, writing within living memory of Guthlac, described his hermit's life:
His pious and holy ascetic life became the talk of the land, and many people visited Guthlac during his life to seek spiritual guidance from him. He gave sanctuary to Æthelbald, future king of Mercia, who was fleeing from his cousin Ceolred. Guthlac predicted that Æthelbald would become king, and Æthelbald promised to build him an abbey if his prophecy became true. Æthelbald did become king and, even though Guthlac had died two years previously, kept his word and started construction of Crowland Abbey on St Bartholomew's Day AD 716. Guthlac's feast day is celebrated on 11 April.
Felix records Guthlac's foreknowledge of his own death, conversing with angels in his last days. At the moment of death a sweet nectar-like odour emanated from his mouth, as his soul departed from his body in a beam of light while the angels sang. Guthlac had requested a lead coffin and linen winding sheet from Ecgburh, Abbess of Repton Abbey, so that his funeral rites could be performed by his sister Pega. Arriving the day after his death, she found the island of Crowland filled with the scent of ambrosia. She buried the body on the mound after three days of prayer. A year later Pega had a divine calling to move the tomb and relics to a nearby chapel: Guthlac's body was discovered uncorrupted, his shroud shining with light. Subsequently Guthlac appeared in a miraculous vision to Æthelbald, prophesying he would be future King of Mercia. The cult of Guthlac continued amongst a monastic community at Crowland, with the eventual foundation of Crowland Abbey as a Benedictine Order in 971. Because of a series of fires at the abbey, few records survive from prior to the 12th century. It is known that in 1136 the remains of Guthlac were moved once more and that finally in 1196 his shrine was placed above the main altar.
A short Old English sermon (Vercelli XXIII) and a longer prose translation into Old English are both based on Felix's Vita. There are also two poems in Old English known as Guthlac A and Guthlac B, part of the tenth century Exeter Book, the oldest surviving collection of Anglo-Saxon poetry. The relationship of Guthlac A to Felix's Vita is debated, but Guthlac B is based on Felix's account of the saint's death.
The story of Saint Guthlac is told pictorially in the Guthlac Roll, a set of detailed illustrations of the early 13th century; it is kept in the British Library and copies are on display in Crowland Abbey.
Another account, also dating from after the Norman Conquest, was included in the Ecclesiastical History of Orderic Vitalis, which like the Guthlac Roll was commissioned by the abbot of Crowland Abbey. At a time when it was being challenged by the crown, the abbey relied significantly on the cult of Guthlac, which made it a place of pilgrimage and healing. That is reflected in a shift in the emphasis from the earlier accounts of Felix and others. The post-conquest accounts portray him as a defender of the church rather than a saintly ascetic; instead of dwelling in an ancient burial mound, they depict Guthlac overseeing the building of a brick and stone chapel on the site of the abbey.
Formed in 1987, St Guthlac Fellowship is a group of churches sharing a dedication to St Guthlac. It consists of:
Year 673 (DCLXXIII) was a common year starting on Saturday (link will display the full calendar) of the Julian calendar. The denomination 673 for this year has been used since the early medieval period, when the Anno Domini calendar era became the prevalent method in Europe for naming years.Abbot of Crowland
The Abbot of Crowland was the head of Crowland Abbey, an English monastery built up around the shrine of Saint Guthlac of Crowland by King Æthelbald of Mercia, and refounded as a Benedictine house circa 948. The last abbot was John Wells (also called John Bridges), who handed the monastery over to The Crown and dissolution in 1539.Cissa of Crowland
Cissa of Crowland was a saint in the medieval Fenlands. He was the successor of Guthlac as abbot of Crowland, and is mentioned in Felix' Vita Guthlaci. According to the Crowland Chronicle his tomb was next to Guthlac's, and like the tomb of Guthlac, was destroyed by the Scandinavians. His relics were translated to Thorney Abbey in the 10th-century.Dachuna
Dachuna was a medieval virgin saint venerated in Cornwall. Probably British in origin, Dachuna is known from the list of resting-places of Hugh Candidus, authored c. 1155. Dachuna, along with Medan and Credan, were allegedly associates of Saint Petroc, whom they rested alongside at the church of Bodmin.Ecgberht of Ripon
Saint Ecgberht (or Egbert) (died 729) was an Anglo-Saxon monk of Northumbria and Bishop of Lindisfarne.Elfin of Warrington
Elfin of Warrington is a little-known saint venerated in medieval Warrington, near the modern city of Liverpool. He is known only from one entry in the Domesday Book, his cult or church holding one carucate of land. The name is Brittonic, derived from Latin Alpinus.Iclingas
The Iclingas (also Iclings or House of Icel) were a dynasty of Kings of Mercia during the 7th and 8th centuries, named for Icel or Icil, great-grandson of Offa of Angel, a legendary or semi-legendary figure of the Migration Period who was in turn made to descend from Woden by the Anglo-Saxon royal genealogies.The Iclingas reached the height of their power under Offa of Mercia (r. 757–796), who achieved hegemony over the other Anglo-Saxon states, and proclaimed himself "King of the English", but the dynasty lost control of Mercia soon after his death.
Penda, who became king of Mercia in about 626 and is the first king named in the regnal lists of the Anglian collection, and at the same time the last pagan king of Mercia, gave rise to a dynasty that supplied at least eleven kings to the throne of Mercia. Four additional monarchs were given an Icling pedigree in later genealogical sources but are now believed to have descended from the family by way of Penda's sister.
Icel himself is of debatable historicity; according to Nicholas Brooks, if historical he would have lived sometime between 450 and 525 and was probably considered the founder of the dynasty because he was the first of his line in Britain. Despite the Icelingas' claims of ties with the rulers and mythic heroes of continental Angeln and with the war-god Woden, Brooks suggests that the Icelingas were, before Penda's rise in prominence, no more and no less royal than any of the other ruling houses of the small Midlands peoples as recorded in the Tribal Hidage and assessed as having between 300 and 600 hides of land.
Icel's ancestry in genealogical tradition is as follows: Icel son of Eomer son of Angeltheow son of Offa son of Wermund son of Wihtlæg son, grandson or great-grandson of Woden.
In this tradition, Icel is the leader of the Angles who migrated to Britain. Icel is then separated from the establishment of Mercia by three generations: Icel's son was Cnebba, whose son was Cynewald, whose son was Creoda, first king of Mercia.
Matthew Paris s.a. 527 reports, "pagans came from Germania and occupied East Anglia... some of whom invaded Mercia and fought many battles with the British[.]" This date, however, should perhaps be amended to 515.
The Vita Sancti Guthlaci ("Life of Saint Guthlac") reports Guthlac of Crowland to have been son of Penwalh, a Mercian who could trace his pedigree back to Icel.Several place names in England have been suggested as derived from the name of Icel or the Iclingas, including Icklingham, Ickleford, Ickleton and Ixworth. Norman Scarfe noted that the Icknield Way had early spellings Icenhylte weg and Icenhilde weg and suggested a connection between Icklingham and the Iceni, although Warner (1988) has cast doubt on the identification. The name Iclinga survives as "Hickling" and several similar spellings.Milred
Milred (died 774) (also recorded as Mildred and Hildred) was an Anglo-Saxon prelate who served as Bishop of Worcester from circa 744 until his death in 774.Peakirk
Peakirk is a civil parish in the city of Peterborough, Cambridgeshire in the United Kingdom. For local government purposes it forms part of Newborough ward; for parliamentary purposes it falls within Peterborough constituency. In 2001, the parish had a population of 321 persons and 139 households.Saint Pega (died c. 719) the sister of Saint Guthlac of Crowland, had a hermitage here. The parish church is uniquely dedicated to St Pega and the name of the village is derived from "Pega's church". The church is a Grade I listed building and has a fine series of wall paintings. It is said that her heart was kept as a relic in the church, contained in a heart stone, the broken remains of which, smashed by Cromwell's troops, can be seen in the south aisle window.The Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust, founded by Sir Peter Scott in 1946 to preserve and maintain Britain's many species of waterfowl, had a reserve here until 2001.Glinton cum Peakirk Church of England (Voluntary Aided) Primary School is situated in neighbouring Glinton; secondary pupils attend Arthur Mellows Village College also in Glinton.
Peakirk also has an unusual war memorial. An oak-panelled frame with 48 photographs and details of the service of all who served from the village during the First World War, and not just those who died.Pega
This article is about the Christian saint. For the customer relationship management and business process management software see Pegasystems.
Pega (c. 673-c.719), is a Christian saint who was an anchoress in the ancient Anglo-Saxon kingdom of Mercia, and the sister of Saint Guthlac.Saint Aldate
Saint Aldate (died 577) was a bishop of Gloucester, venerated as a saint with the feast day of February 4. Aldate's life is not detailed historically, but he was probably a Briton killed by the Anglo-Saxons at Deorham. He is reported to have roused the countryside to resist pagan invasion forces. He is mentioned in the Sarum and other martyrologies; his feast occurs in a Gloucester calendar (14th-century addition); churches were dedicated to him at Gloucester and Oxford, as well as a famous Oxford street: St Aldate's, Oxford and a minor street in Gloucester. But nothing seems to be known of him: it was even suggested that his name was a corruption of 'old gate'.Saint Beccel
Bettelin of Crowland, also known as Beccel, was an 8th century hermit and saint of Crowland, and a follower of Guthlac.Saint Sidwell
Sidwell (Latin: Sativola) was a virgin saint from the English county of Devon, possibly of British origin. Her historical existence is not well established.Stathern, Leicestershire
Stathern is an English village and civil parish in the Melton district of Leicestershire. It lies in the Vale of Belvoir about 10 miles (16 km) north of Melton Mowbray.Wulfsige of Sherborne
Wulfsige was a ninth-century Bishop of Sherborne.Ælfthryth of Crowland
Ælfthryth, also known as Alfreda or Etheldritha, is a saint, venerated in the Roman Catholic Church, as a virgin, and recluse. She was a daughter of King Offa of Mercia.Ælfwald I of Northumbria
Ælfwald (born 759-767 AD) was king of Northumbria from 779 to 788. He is thought to have been a son of Oswulf, and thus a grandson of Eadberht Eating.
Ælfwald became king after Æthelred son of Æthelwald Moll was deposed in 778. He was murdered, probably at Chesters, by ealdorman Sicga on 23 September 788. He was buried at Hexham Abbey where he was considered a saint.
Ælfwald was succeeded by his first cousin Osred, son of Alhred and Osgifu daughter of Eadberht Eating. Ælfwald's sons Ælf and Ælfwine were killed in 791 on the orders of King Æthelred.Æthelburh of Barking
Saint Æthelburh (died after 686) or Ethelburga, founder and first Abbess of the double monastery of Barking, was the sister of Earconwald, Bishop of London.Æthelgar
Æthelgar (died 990) was Archbishop of Canterbury, and previously Bishop of Selsey.
|British / Welsh|
and Old Saxon
|Irish and Scottish|